Women’s History Month – The Status of Women around the World

March is Women’s History Month and MCCC has scheduled several activities for your edification. In many parts of the world the plight of women and young girls, who will become women, is dire. The information below is positivistic (factual) as opposed to normative (opinion based).

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) develops and publishes the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) for almost all nations in the world. The GDI is essentially a measure of the status of women based on health (life expectancy at birth), education, and income. This uses the same variables as the Human Development Index (HDI). The GDI tells us generally how women are faring in any particular country in terms of progress and opportunity.

Surprisingly, at the top of the GDI ranking is Slovakia, which ranks 37th on the HDI scale; second for GDI are Argentina (say Evita!), which ranks 49th on the HDI scale, tied with Venezuela (67th on HDI scale) another surprise!

Below are the top 10 GDI nations and their corresponding HDI rankings in 2014 (source: hdr.undp.org)

GDI Ranking Country                                     HDI Rank                   Comment

  1. Slovakia                                                      37
  2. Argentina                                                    49                          Tied for second with Venezuela
  3. Venezuela                                                  67
  4. Hungary                                                     43
  5. Norway                                                        1
  6. Sweden                                                       6
  7. United States                                               5
  8. Finland                                                      24                          Tied for 8th with all those below
  9. Slovenia                                                    25
  10. Bulgaria                                                    58
  11. Trinidad and Tobago                                64
  12. Armenia                                                    87

As you can see, quite a few countries tied for the final spot, so I list them all. A visit to the UNDP Website will provide you with comprehensive information and reports along with a complete list of all the HDI and GDI rates and rankings. Interesting stuff (to me anyway).


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